Bexley’s Bowles, Columbus Academy doubles team win state tennis titles

WOOSTER — Amiya Bowles triumphantly fell to the court, brimming with joy and relief, after clinching her second consecutive Division II state singles championship on Friday. It was a moment of pure bliss, as if it were her first victory.

Despite a 6-1, 6-2 win over Martha Thompson of Cincinnati Indian Hill at Aspen Racquet Club, Bowles insisted that this year’s championship felt just as special as the one before. This victory not only maintained her undefeated streak halfway through her high school career but also elevated her status in Ohio high school tennis. It was a rematch of last year’s final, which Bowles won 6-0, 6-3.

“I said it last year, but it’s truly a relieving and ‘wow’ moment,” Bowles said. “Some may think the feeling is neutral, but it definitely feels the same.”

Bowles has now become the 21st two-time singles champion and the 11th repeat winner in the history of the state championship. She is also the second two-time winner in Bexley history, following in the footsteps of Jane Cohodes (1980, 1982).

In a thrillingly different match, Columbus Academy seniors Yasemin Bilgin and Arya Chabria earned central Ohio another championship with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-6), 4-6, 7-5 victory over Kate Mills and Summer Mu of Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown in the Division II doubles final.

Bowles, after dominating her semifinal against Mallory Hitchcock of Eaton with a 6-1, 6-3 win earlier in the day, maintained control throughout the final. She briefly fell behind at 2-1 in the second set but quickly regained her composure. This season, Bowles remains undefeated with a perfect 19-0 record, and over the past two years, she has yet to taste defeat, boasting an impressive 40-0 record.

“Her spin is superior to that of her opponents, allowing her to land resounding shots,” said Thompson, who is also a sophomore. “Whether it’s a short ball or a deep ball, she handles it effortlessly.”

Bilgin and Chabria, who defeated Catherine Rhegness and Bryn Thompson of Toledo Ottawa Hills 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals, struggled to find words in their excitement as they described their 3-hour, 10-minute nail-biter of a match. The scoreline accurately reflects the intense battle that took place.

“We never expected it to last that long, but every point was a battle,” Chabria said. “We really pushed ourselves to the limit. We knew it would be a close match, but we didn’t assume that being in the lead would guarantee a win.”

Bilgin added, “Throughout the entire match, I didn’t feel anything. If I did, my legs would have been shaking. It might catch up to us later.”

Due to inclement weather, the tournament had to be moved indoors. The first two rounds took place on Thursday at the College of Wooster.


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